Yesterday’s News: Vintage Store Ad is a Tech Time Capsule

Once upon a time before all of our media went digital, tech-lovers used to peruse the ads in the Sunday paper looking for great deals on electronics. The Best Buy ad was definitely one of the best, holding promises of computers, RAM, TVs and everything else a geek heart dreams about. This Best Buy ad from 1996 takes us back to that innocent time when pagers were still a thing and music was still sold on cassette tape.

Among the nostalgic gems in this ad: a Logitech color scanner for $279 (the printer/scanner/copier/fax machine sitting on this editor’s desk right now cost a whopping $60, for purposes of comparison), a 166 MHz Packard Bell PC with 16MB of memory for $1999, and some kind of instructional Macarena video (on VHS!) for just $4.99.

Although cellular phones definitely weren’t a huge part of Best Buy’s business in 1996, they do have a few models listed in this ad – none of them small enough to fit in an average pocket, however.

The tech store ads we’re used to seeing these days aren’t actually too much different other than the prices and speeds of the technology on offer. But it’s always a little humbling to look back and realize that this 1996 ad actually represented some really high-tech stuff for the time.

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See more in Aged Adverts or under Vintage & Retro. September, 2011.